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Dramatic End to Testimony in Jackson Trial


05/29/05
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(antiTainment) Testimony came to a surprising end in the Michael Jackson child molestation trial on Friday. It has been described as a scene right out of a silver screen court drama. The prosecution showed the jury a videotape of the underage accuser being interviewed by police and stating that the pop singer had masturbated him after giving him alcohol.

The real dramatic moment came following the viewing of the tape when lead defense attorney Tom Mesereau announced that the defense was resting, going back on their vow to call at least four witnesses in rebuttal to the tape, including the accuser and his mother.

The surprising move by Mesereau put an end to the evidence phase of the trial. "You have heard all the evidence you're going to hear in the case," Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville told the jury before excusing them until Wednesday when the trial resumes.

The prosecution went out strong, presuming that the eight-woman, four-man jury believed the taped testimony of the accuser. The testimony was taken by two sheriff's detectives in July of 2003. The jury heard the boy recount an episode one night at Jackson's Neverland Ranch where the pop star reportedly gave him alcohol and then touched him inappropriately.

"He put his hand in my pants," the boy said in a low voice. "He started masturbating me. I told him I didn't want to do that. He kept saying he wants to teach me ... he said that it's OK, that there's nothing wrong with it, that it's natural."

The accuser said in the interview that the same scene played out four or five times in total with Jackson giving him alcohol and then masturbating him.

Part of the defense strategy has been to paint the accuser as dishonest and that the story was concocted by his mother in an attempt to extort money from Jackson. The jury may begin to deliberations to decide which side they believe as early as this week, depending on how long closing arguments run.

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